Tuesday, June 18, 2019
The Eye-Rolls of Summer
The US is on autopilot, cruising toward collapse, swamped by debt and politically dysfunctional but still trying to bully the world. In response, the world has been practicing the coordinated global eye-roll: the Americans (and/or their proxies) damage some oil tankers in the Persian Gulf and blame it on Iran—time for an eye-roll. Since this doesn’t have the intended effect, the Americans (and/or their proxies)… decide that it’s time to damage some more oil tankers in the Persian Gulf and blame it on Iran—time for another eye-roll. Meanwhile, there are lots of US navy ships steaming about the Persian Gulf, and that’s a sure sign that open hostilities with Iran will be avoided because those ships are very expensive, there is no money to replace them, and given Iran’s very advanced rocketry they are sitting ducks.
Another eye-rolling occasion arises whenever US officials talk up their hydrocarbon exports. The only reason the US has a temporary surplus of hydrocarbons is because of the fracking industry, which is drowning in red ink and will never be made whole because the prices it requires are higher than what the world can afford. Shale oil is but a temporary blip, and what comes next is what happens after Peak Oil—which is anyone’s guess, because that’s where all the best economic models and forecasting tools stop working, but my guess is that the world will separate into energy haves and energy have-nots, and the have-nots will have a hard time maintaining anything like a first-world lifestyle by serving each other overpriced caffeinated beverages or psychoanalyzing each others’ pets.
Yet another eye-rolling occasion is Trump’s war on Huawei, which has led Google to deprive Huawei smartphones of access to its Android operating system. Now, get ready for an eye-roll, because operating systems are at this point free items floating about in the public domain. With the exception of Microsoft Windows, which is absolute, total crap, they are all based on either Linux (as is Android) or BSD Unix (Mac OS, etc.) and these are both free. Making Linux work on a smartphone, or a fridge, or a toaster is a matter of writing a whole bunch of interfaces and device drivers, and that's something that a million monkeys with typewriters can come up with a million times faster than just one monkey toiling alone. And so there are now not one but two Android replacements in the works—one Chinese, one Russian—that will still support all of your favorite apps. Meanwhile, Google will be renamed to Booble and all of its brilliant Russian employees will move back to Moscow. OK, you can roll your eyes now.
The weather has certainly been wild. In the US, much of the farmland has been underwater, the planting for corn and soy has been much reduced and much delayed, and just one early frost will spell disaster for the harvest. Weather has been equally wild on the other side of the planet, in Russia, which is the other huge agricultural exporter. It’s snowing in Norilsk, egg-sized hailstones and torrential rains have caused flooding in the south, endless forest fires in the east and sweltering temperatures in the middle. Climate models aside, there are some indications that given this wild weather feeding everyone may become a problem. No doubt the rich will respond by trying to get the poor to eat each other (eye-roll, please) and the poor will respond with their own plan, which is to eat the rich (eye-roll) but once they’ve eaten all the rich they will end up eating each other anyway (snort).
Some people are clamoring that we stop before it’s too late or various words to that effect. There is an obsessive-compulsive Swedish girl, Greta is her name, I think, who’s been making the rounds, her lavishly funded media campaign financed by the usual globalist oligarchs (Gore, Soros, etc.) telling people that we have to stop burning fossil fuels, eating meat, etc. To be perfectly consistent, the way obsessive-compulsives are compelled to be, she should stop breathing because when she exhales she produces carbon dioxide which warms the planet.
Also, somebody should tell Greta that if the world stopped burning fossil fuels the planet’s average temperature would rocket up anywhere between 1ºC and 1.5ºC—a huge amount, because of a phenomenon known as global dimming. All the smog from burning fossil fuels is limiting the amount of solar radiation that reaches the planet’s surface. Add to this the 0.5ºC of warming that’s been achieved since the start of the fossil fuel age, and there’s your 2ºC which everyone has been saying would be catastrophic. And so, when someone starts going on about how “We must stop global warming” it may be time for another Global Eye-Roll. We’re past all that “Inconvenient Truth” stuff; consider yourselves royally inconvenienced.
Speaking of inconvenienced, where I am now, at the Orlov compound at an undisclosed location, we haven’t had a good soaking rain in at least two weeks and so I am off to… water the potato field. That’s what the world has come to: we have to actually water the damn potatoes, because, you know, we like to eat. Feel free to do an eye roll.